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Homelessness in Vancouver and sustainability: Researching the issue May 30, 2008

Posted by Raul in Focus on Vancouver, food for thought, homelessness, public policy issues.

As it turns out, I have been thinking for a while about ways in which I can write more Vancouver-centric stuff. I want to write a well-researched, cogent article on the fact that we need to look at homelessness and sustainability through a more cogent, holistic perspective, not all the “wishy-washy”, “yeah we do care about homeless people, see… we’re buying new buildings”, yadda yadda yadda. However, as an academic and with my research training I feel that I can’t just write whatever comes out of my brain. I need data, I need numbers, I need background reading and I need people to talk to who are knowledgeable in the area of homelessness (I have training in urban sustainability, so I can take care of that side of the equation). All leads much appreciated. Please leave a comment on my blog. Thanks! I’ll save your contact details and get back to you once I’ve done enough research to write a very cogent, solid post. Thanks.



1. mattkirkey - May 30, 2008

here’s an angle – excessive alcohol taxes cause inability to acquire alcohol resulting in seeking the only available substance cheap enough to abuse – crack.

a theory, but kind of smart.

2. Rashad - June 4, 2008

One program being executed in my town that may interest you is a “continuum of care” type of service for the 164 individuals chosen to take part in this program (164 of 3000-4000 homeless because that’s how large the housing unit is). By continuum of care we mean that services are given to those on any spectrum of homelessness, and the key is that we try and lead individuals from one end (homelessness) to the other end (permanent housing and self-sustainability). The past few years we’ve had 60-80% success rate: by the end of the (six month) program, that percentage of participants are no longer homeless. Maybe you would be interested in comparing different types of programs, like these, and seeing if they pose a potential end to homelessness? And of course I don’t mean no homelessness ever, but you know what I mean.

I would guess that Vancouver has excellent programs like our “continuum of care”, as Canada’s public policy tends to be a tad better than that here in the states…

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